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Aravina Estate Cabernet Merlot 2011
Aravina Estate Cabernet Merlot 2011 Member: $16.99
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The battle of the blends!

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It’s the battle of the blends, with Bordeaux inspired whites from Margaret River and King Valley as well as a collaboration of two red varieties made famous by that classic French region. The three Rhône varieties, Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre, feature as well as the quintessential Aussie blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The battle of the blends!

 

Watershed Shades Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013

Watershed Shades Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013

Style: Dry white.

Region: Margaret River, WA

Overview: : Why blend? Because at times, several varieties can be overlap and cover the shortfalls of a single variety to create something close to perfect. Sure, in Australia we love single varieties but unbeknownst to many, an everyday favourite like Shiraz often has small amounts of other varieties added to create lift or structure. For instance a high percentage of the wines labelled as ‘Shiraz’ will have a small amount (around 5%) of Viognier added to add aromatics and soften tannins. Sauvignon Blanc is a pungent, fresh, clean variety with notes of tropical fruits, whereas Semillon displays citrus and phenolics (grassy tones) so when blended together the Sauvignon Blanc catches our attention by jumping out of the glass but on the palate the Semillon adds elegance and length. Blending is not a case of a winemaker throwing two wines together and hoping for the best like some mad scientist but a calculated decision to make the very best wine they can.

Tasting Note:Pungent passionfruit on the nose with delicate undertones of citrus and cut grass. The palate has a great balance between savoury and tropical; it is pure, clean and fresh. The kind of wine you may seek on a warm, spring afternoon when one glass is just not enough.

Final Say: Perfect as the weather continues to warm. $14.99

Score: 17.5 out of 20

Nugan Estate Cookoothama Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013

Nugan Estate Cookoothama Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013

Style: Dry white

Region: King Valley, VIC

Tasting Note: : The nose is elegant with subtle hints of straw, the Sauvignon Blanc slightly restrained. The palate is delicate, with flavours of citrus with a touch of grassiness from the Semillon.

Final Say: A nice, easy drinking blend. $13.99 a bottle.

Score: 15.5 out of 20

Kiss Chasey Premium White 2012

Kiss Chasey Premium White 2012

Style: Dry white

Region: Western Australia

Tasting Note:The nose and palate both display subtle citrus and fennel with some notes of jasmine. It’s a ‘dry white’ style; it doesn’t overpromise but nor does it under deliver. It’s simply a nice quaffing wine.

Final Say:An unassuming wine for drinking not thinking. $12.99

Score: 15.5 out of 20

Soul Growers Equilibrium Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre 2011

Soul Growers Equilibrium Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2011

Style: Mid-full bodied red

Region: Barossa Valley, SA

Tasting Note: A big whack of cedar oak on the nose with notes of sweet cherry. The palate is typical Barossan fare: plum, blackberry, liquorice and some black pepper all held together with lashings of oak.

Final Say: Barrosa’s slant on the Rhône Valley, from a tough year but still full of flavour. $19.99 a bottle.

Score: 16.5 out of 20

Driftwood Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Driftwood Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Style: Mid-full bodied red

Region: Margaret River, WA

Tasting Note: A hint of spicy development and typical tones of plum and blackberry. Grainy tannins with some underlying tones of liquorice.

Final Say: Bypass the cellar and drink now. $14.99 a bottle.

Score: 16 out of 20

Tyrrell’s Rufus Stone Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2012

Tyrrell’s Rufus Stone Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2012

Style: Full-bodied red

Region: McLaren Vale, SA

Tasting Note: A brooding wine with a great depth of colour. The nose needs to hang in the glass for a while to pick up the tones of plum and prunes. The palate consists of plum, blackberry and cassis. Typical of these two varieties, the palate has nice texture and finishes with grainy tannins.

Final Say: A classic wine from Tyrrell’s, certainly one that will benefit from laying down for a couple of years. $19.99 a bottle.

Score: 18 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to leave a comment or email me at spittingoptional@gmail.com

With a background in viticulture and four years as a buyer for The Wine Society, Jack Davis is the voice behind spittingoptional.com. He's tasted with The Wine Society Tasting Panel and National Liqour News Tasting Panel and he holds a WSET diploma. Jack now works in the Rutherglen wine region and describes himself as "just another wine wanker".

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